MANILA, Feb 11 (Mabuhay) — Noting their track records in public service, Albay Representative Joey Salceda on Thursday said he is supporting the candidacies of Vice President Leni Robredo for president and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte for vice president.

“I am for Leni and Sara. I have long followed and studied their track record in public service, especially good governance and management style,” Salceda said in a statement.

“Both Vice President Leni and Mayor Sara are known for judicious and effective use of public resources in the offices and agencies they presided over.”

This made Salceda, who is from the Bicol region like Robredo, the first administration ally to endorse candidates from separate ticket.

“That will be very crucial given our post-pandemic fiscal space,” said Salceda, chair of the ways and means committee in the House of Representatives.

Salceda said both candidates are his friends for a long time and both are in sync in terms of pushing for economic development.

“Both inspire investor confidence,” he said, adding the two are capable of working with each other.

“The Leni-Sara is not a hostile combination as some would suggest,” Salceda said. “These two were friends, who can work together if they both win.”

Salceda said he first “signaled” his support for Sara Duterte in March last year.

The lawmaker belongs to PDP-Laban wing chaired by Sara Duterte’s father, President Rodrigo Duterte. The party is supporting Sara but has yet to pick a presidential candidate.

Salceda said party members “are free to choose according to our own judgment and conviction.”

Sara says Salceda is ‘a friend’

Sought for reaction, Sara Duterte said Salceda will remain a friend despite his endorsement of Robredo.

“Susuportahan po natin si Cong. Joey Salceda sa kung ano man yung direksyon niya in politics, he is a friend. May politika man o wala,” Duterte said in an interview with the reporters.

Sara Duterte, who is running with former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., said they would not refuse any endorsements from other groups or individuals.

“Napag-usapan na namin ‘yan ni Apo BBM na either of us will not refuse endorsements whether individually or collectively at nagpapasalamat po tayo sa lahat ng mga kaibigan at supporters natin sa buong bansa,” she said in a separate interview.

Robredo, a critic of President Duterte, has yet to comment on Salceda’s support for Sara.  (MNS)

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